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Lookin for suggestions: A tourer that will last a lifetime!

themightywthemightyw Posts: 409
edited April 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hi there,

I'm looking for a bit of advice. After getting the cycling bug a couple of years ago, I've been steadily increasing the miles and will be cycling from London to Paris in a couple of months.

I'm loving the cycling, and am considering purchasing a tourer that would - I hope - last me a good 10 years or so, that can see me through what will undoubtedly be a number of harebrained, poorly navigated capers. Loose plans over the coming years are a LEJOG, a long tour in France, and numerous 2/3 day rides living out of a tent in Scotland.

I'm prepared to spend up to around £1k and the name that comes up time and time again from the forum searches I've done is Dawes Galaxy / Super Galaxy.

In terms of styling, my road bike is pretty modern (trek madone) but I'm quite drawn to the more 'traditional' styling of tourers. However I would almost certainly go for drop bar, and something that would be as happy on a long audax. Because of the distances, and the fact that I hope to have it for many years I'm looking for something that will be pretty bullet proof / low maintenance, and that can carry a reasonable amount of gear (tent, sleeping bag, 3 days or so of clothes).

Are there any other big name manufacturers I should be looking at? Any suggestions appreciated!



  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I've been very happy with my Super Galaxy. I've had it for 7 years and it is very reliable.

    It is also quite versatile. With four panniers and a bar bag, mudguards and 35c tyres, I've taken it on some pretty rough roads and paths and on long tours. At the other end of the scale, I have stripped it right down to frame and moving parts, stuck 24c tyres on it and ridden it up the Alpe d'Huez.

    The frame geometry and tubing has been updated on newer models than mine, so they look less "traditional".

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • themightywthemightyw Posts: 409
    Funnily enough it was you that put the Dawes seed in my head, as I remember you mentioning that's what you used on the Fife Flurry.
  • themightywthemightyw Posts: 409
    Other ones I've been looking at are:

    The Thorn Sherpa: Looks like a great fun wee bike, but I'm not convinced by the MTB style wheels. Would rather have something that could double up immediately as an audax bike.

    Cannondale's Touring Ultra: ... gn=froogle Again a tad too MTBIsh for me.

    Kona Sutra: Really love this bike apart from the disk brakes.

    Actually quite taken by the Pearson Compass: ... e-09-33981
    Looks like a beautiful 'old school' bike but with all the best elements of modern bikes.

    If anyone's got any hands on experience of any of these I'd be very interested!
  • ralexralex Posts: 85
    Thorn Club Tour, Hewitt Cheviot, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Ridgeback Panorama, are a few others that get regular recommendations. £1000 might be a fairly tight budget though for them.
    They are all steel so the frames will probably last you 20 years at least if you lokk after them.
  • if you only spent £200 more over your budget, you could get a beautiful semi-custom dave yates touring bike, which would last you 50 years! £750 on the frame and forks and 450 on bits should do it. he'll probably build for you to a budget...
  • MrBlondMrBlond Posts: 161
    Not a true tourer, but Planet X Kaffenback maybe worth a look
  • cycologistcycologist Posts: 1,136
    Last a lifetime bike ?Ppush the boat out as much as you can e.g. if looking at a Dawes go for the titanium frame - surely your bank manager will see it as an investment and be happy to give you a loan.
    Two wheels good,four wheels bad
  • brian17nbrian17n Posts: 14
    I have been considering the Edinburgh Cycles Revolution County explorer. I think the disc brakes are a plus point over canti's but not all will agree.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    I have a Condor Heritage, italian steel frame, assembled in London, a modern design but retro appearance. It undercuts the Super Galaxy and you can spec it exactly as you want, and can even have the frame custom made for +£100, and / or custom painted for +£50.

    I run it with Campag linear pull brakes, better than canti's. I wouldn't be keen on disc brakes on a tourer (can be fiddly, pads can be hard to get in wilder places).
  • themightywthemightyw Posts: 409
    That Condor and the Dave Yates option sound really interesting to be honest... some amazing suggestions here. Thank you!
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    themightyw wrote:
    That Condor and the Dave Yates option sound really interesting to be honest... some amazing suggestions here. Thank you!
    The downsides with these options are that they are sold only in one place (Condor in Grays Inn Road, London, Dave Yates, I presume, Lincolnshire), so you have to travel for a fitting, I travelled from Bath (booked the train well in advance so I got a £25 return), but the fitting was well worth it. I didn't need a custom frame the standard one fits fine, and they have about 7 frame sizes. The build took about 2 weeks (they quote more) and they delivered for £25. All in all it was a great service, and it is good to choose all the spec (I supplied my own saddle).

    For what its worth the bike got a 9/10 in C Plus, they said it had very steady handling, but felt fast.

    I had wanted a Super Galaxy, but they are well overpriced now, I would also have considered a Hewitt Cheviot (requires a trip to Lancashire).

    I like the Thorn's, they look very robust, but they are pricey and probably fairly heavy, but they certainly would be lifetime long bikes.

    I have an Dawes Audax 531 ('97 vintage) that serves Audax type duties, but it was just too unstable when I did loaded touring on it, the Condor has sorted that.
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